A Closer Look at the Role of Corrosive Soils in Water Main Breaks
A new academic study of water main failures in the United States and Canada shows a 27% increase in water main break rates between 2012 and 2018, with corrosive soils cited as a leading contributor.
Research was led by Steven Folkman, a professor at Utah State University (USU) (Logan, Utah, USA) and author of a similar report on water main breaks in 2012. USU is home to both the Buried Structures Laboratory, which has a large-scale testing facility for pipes and underground structures, and the Utah Water Research Laboratory—which is the oldest U.S. university-based water research facility.
Highlights of the latest pipe materials study include data on break rates, as compared to the prior study; the analysis of age and corrosion in failure modes; observations on pressure, delivery demands, and the effects of soil corrosivity; and new metrics for pipe replacement rates.
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